CDC officially recommends new COVID-19 vaccine

The Centers for Disease Control on Sunday officially recommended the new Janssen COVID-19 vaccine for people age 18 and older.

The recommendation follows Saturday’s FDA decision to authorize emergency use of the vaccine.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, CDC director, said in a statement that this is another milestone toward an end to the pandemic. Walensky signed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommendation endorsing the safety and effectiveness of the new Janssen vaccine, which is from Johnson and Johnson.

“As vaccination scales up, so too does our nation’s overall protection from serious outcomes due to COVID-19,” Dr. Walensky said in a statement. “The Janssen vaccine has been shown to be safe and effective in preventing severe COVID-19 illness, hospitalization, and death.

“This vaccine is also another important tool in our toolbox to equitably vaccinate as many people as possible, as quickly as possible,” Dr. Walensky stated. “As a one-dose vaccine, people do not have to return for a second dose to be protected. In addition, this vaccine does not need to be kept in a freezer and can be stored at refrigerated temperatures — so it is easy to transport and store and allows for expanded availability in most community settings and mobile sites, as supply scales up.

“This third safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine comes at a potentially pivotal time. CDC’s latest data suggest that recent declines in COVID-19 cases may be stalling and potentially leveling off at still very high numbers,” Dr. Walensky stated. “That is why it is so critical that we remain vigilant and consistently take all of the mitigation steps we know work to stop the spread of COVID-19 while we work our way toward mass vaccination.

“I know that many Americans look forward to rolling up their sleeves with confidence as soon as a COVID-19 vaccine is available to them,” she stated. “Having different types of vaccines available for use, especially ones with different dosing recommendations and storage and handling requirements, can offer more options and flexibility for the public, jurisdictions and vaccine providers. Getting vaccinated with the first vaccine available to you will help protect all of us from COVID-19.”

COVID-19 case numbers reported

Wyandotte County reported an increase of 19 COVID-19 case on Sunday, Feb. 28, for a cumulative 17,678 cases. There was a cumulative total of 269 deaths reported, no change since Saturday.

The Mid-America Regional Council’s COVID-19 dashboard reported 154,556 cumulative COVID-19 cases on Sunday. The daily average of new hospitalizations was 96. Cumulative deaths in the nine-county area were 2,099. MARC also reported a delay in data verification from one of the nine counties, affecting data for cases, deaths and tests, but not for hospitalizations.

The Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 dashboard on Sunday night reported 28,605,669 cases in the United States, with 513,091 total deaths nationwide.

COVID-19 tests scheduled Monday

The Pierson Community Center COVID-19 testing site at 831 S. 55th is open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday, March 1. Tests are through WellHealth. Appointments are required, check with the website,, for available appointment times.

Unified Government COVID-19 testing and vaccine sites are scheduled to be open on Monday. Those seeking vaccinations need to have an appointment, while those seeking COVID-19 testing may walk in and get a test kit.

The Unified Government Health Department’s COVID-19 test site at the former Kmart building at 78th and State will be open Monday, March 1, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Appointments are not needed for COVID-19 tests there on Monday. There is also another UG Health Department location for COVID-19 testing at the former Best Buy store, 10500 Parallel Parkway. More information is at To see if there is any change to the schedule, visit

The Health Department is offering saliva COVID-19 tests to the public. Tests from the Health Department are free for those who live or work in Wyandotte County.

The tests are open to asymptomatic people as well as those who have symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19. Check with the UG Health Department’s Facebook page to see if there have been any changes in the schedule. Bring something that shows that you live or work in Wyandotte County, such as a utility bill.

Wyandotte County residents who are interested in getting a COVID-19 vaccine may fill out a survey form at the UG Health Department at Residents will be contacted to make an appointment when vaccine becomes available. The Health Department currently is vaccinating high-contact critical workers, as well as residents over 65.

Testing sites are at

Saliva testing is now offered at the UG Health Department. For more information, visit

The University of Kansas Health System COVID-19 update page is at

A weekly vaccine report for the state of Kansas is at

Cards and letters of encouragement for caregivers at KU Health System may be sent to Share Joy, care of Patient Relations, 4000 Cambridge St., Mailstop 1021, Kansas City, Kansas, 66160. Emails can be sent to

Wyandotte County is under a mandatory mask and social distancing order.

The UG COVID-19 webpage is at

The KDHE’s COVID-19 webpage is at

The KC Region COVID-19 Hub dashboard is at

The Wyandotte County page on the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 website is at

The Johns Hopkins Data in Motion, a presentation on critical COVID-19 data in the past 24 hours, is at

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